Preventing the Arab Spring from Reaching Western Sahara

(Foreign Policy) Colum Lynch - The UN and France have been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the popular uprisings spreading across Africa, resorting to, or at least backing, the use of military force in Ivory Coast and Libya to foster democratic change. But their fervor for bold political reform has not been felt in the North African territory of Western Sahara, Africa's last colony, where they have favored deference to the slow incremental path to change advocated by the territory's ruling power, Morocco. U.S. diplomatic communications, obtained through WikiLeaks, reveal that the UN and France have yielded to intense pressure from Morocco to limit outside scrutiny of its human rights conduct. Just last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon rejected a request from his own human right's chief, Navi Pillay, to establish a full-time human rights monitoring team in Western Sahara.

2011-04-21 00:00:00

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